A+ Athlete: Mandy Sykora, Marietta

This week's A+ Athlete is Mandy Sykora of Marietta High School. Mandy has a 4.0 G.P.A. and is ranked number one in her class.

She's on the Superintendent's honor roll, she's won multiple awards in F.F.A. and she helps in the Elementary School, with teaching kids to read, and showing them the importance of academics as well.

"Having those good grades is something that, having two older sisters do this, is just knowing that good grades is what's going to set the precedent for your future," said A+ Athlete Mandy Sykora. "That's just what keeps my drive of having those good grades and knowing that every good grade I get is going to help me for college and after that for my career."

"She's just super dedicated to everything that she does," said Marietta teacher Heather Cummings. "She strives to be the best and she does it, every time."

Mandy loves to run, and she's extremely good at it. She is a state champion in cross country, both as an individual, and twice with the team.

In track, she has won state in the 3200 three times, and also won state in the 1600. She is one of the most decorated runners in school history, and still has this year to go.

"I have a few individual championships but I'm most proud of my team championships with cross country," said Sykora. "There's nothing like winning a championships as a team. It's a great feeling as an individual, but winning as a team and knowing that you can go bear hug you teammates after you have found out that you won, that's the best feeling of the whole thing."

"She's just driven. For a long time now she has had the drive to want to be the best and she works at it every day," said Marietta cross country coach Matt Appelman. "She's dedicated and gives everything she has to the sport."